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Accepted Paper:

Making visual research with children: how to represent their point of view about present and future using emerging immersive media  


Rossella Schillaci (UT Austin Colab - Nova University of Lisbon, University of Texas at Austin)

Paper short abstract:

An ongoing interdisciplinary practice-based research project which aims to investigate the perception and imaginary - about their present and their future - of children living in a condition of imprisonment, using immersive storytelling alongside traditional anthropological filmmaking.

Paper long abstract:

In 2016 I produced an observational documentary film on mothers in prison with their children. I confronted the limits of the observational approach in such a sensitive context as the jail.

I'd like to present some clips of this film and a treatment of a new project which will use new VR 360° technologies, in order to produce a new experimental film, combining ethnofiction and animation.

The intent is to investigate how the transition between different approaches and media can create new form of languages and experiences, and which are the potentialities and the novelty of immersive storytelling applied to visual anthropology. I plan to produce a VR film inside the prison in collaboration with mothers and children in order to understand with them their perspective about their present and future confinement lives.

Children have an innate ability to find shelter in imagination, and this is part of their positive resilience. How do they perceive the place where they are, how do imagine their future?

Employing participatory creative practices adapted to virtual reality, the aims it to reflect about the imaginary related to the power relations within the prison.

The project will analyse if the specific affordances of immersive documentary, such as the 'precence' and the feeling 'to be there', might change the role of the viewer and the film, shifting from representation toward an immersive experience of it, a kind of future wave in storytelling, also anthropological.

Panel P121
Filming Futures: ethnographic film and future-making in critical contexts [FAN and VANEASA]